March 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

State’s Attor­ney Encour­ages Pub­lic to Observe
Child Abuse Pre­ven­tion Month dur­ing the Month of April

JONESBORO—Beginning next week, Union Coun­ty will join com­mu­ni­ties across South­ern Illi­nois in observ­ing Child Abuse Pre­ven­tion Month.  We will kick off a num­ber of local events on Mon­day, April 1, 2019 with a 9:00AM procla­ma­tion sign­ing in front of the Union Coun­ty Cour­t­house.

Child abuse pre­ven­tion and aware­ness is a respon­si­bil­i­ty for all of us.  As gov­ern­ment offi­cials, we join edu­ca­tors, busi­ness lead­ers, human ser­vice providers, hous­es of faith and oth­er orga­ni­za­tions in stand­ing up for the right of chil­dren to have great child­hoods free from abuse and neglect.

For pros­e­cu­tors and mem­bers of law enforce­ment, the long term effects of child abuse and neglect are some­thing we see first­hand on a dai­ly basis.  Far too often, the pain of a dif­fi­cult child­hood starts a young per­son down a path that leads not only to con­tin­u­ing the cycle of abuse but a cost­ly life­time of engage­ment with the jus­tice sys­tem and cor­rec­tions.

What if instead of arrest­ing and pros­e­cut­ing adults we had the chance to heal the hearts and sta­bi­lize the homes of young peo­ple before they ever got to that point?  Our office has worked dili­gent­ly to deal with these sit­u­a­tions on the fron­tend through our Vic­tims’ Advo­cates and by col­lab­o­rat­ing with pro­grams such as Juve­nile Jus­tice and Rede­ploy Illi­nois in order to turn as many indi­vid­u­als as pos­si­ble from a dark­er path.

We all have a role to play in reduc­ing child abuse and neglect.  One of the ways to get start­ed is by wear­ing a blue rib­bon dur­ing the month of April.  That may feel like a very small act but it’s a pow­er­ful sig­nal to the young peo­ple around us that if they are fac­ing abuse that we are adults they can turn to for help.

We ask that you join us on April 1 at the procla­ma­tion sign­ing, by dress­ing in blue on “Wear Blue Day” on Fri­day, April 5 and by par­tic­i­pat­ing in oth­er Child Abuse Pre­ven­tion activ­i­ties through­out the month of April.  Let’s stand up as a coun­ty for our chil­dren and their right to a great child­hood!